Tent Camping requires waterproofing

By on October 29, 2013

Tent camping can be a real drag if it rains and your tent leaks.  In a lot of instances, I suspect, a wet sleeping bag and clothes would end the tent camping trip prematurely.  Most brand new tents come from the factory already waterproofed.  But over time this factory waterproofing will break down and become less effective.  If the rainfly begins to excessively sag from rain or dew on it, it may be time to apply more waterproofing.

Tent camping under tree next to pond.

Tent Camping

The rainfly is going to be the first defense against rain, then the actual top of the tent.  A ground cloth and a properly waterproofed tent floor will help prevent moisture coming through the tent floor.  This could be from the natural moisture in the ground, or a poorly selected tent site that causes water to run into or under the tent.

Tent camping does require some knowledge of how to select tenting sites and tent setup.  Much of this will come with experience, but some reading on the subject and camping with some more experienced campers can go a long way.

There are several ways to apply the waterproofing to the tent:

  • Spray on waterproofing is probably the first type that most people think of when they think waterproofing.  Watch out for too heavy of application to avoid runs.  If there are runs use a paper towel or sponge brush to wipe the excess off or to a thinner applied area.
  • Paint on waterproofing is typical for seamsealers, but can be used for the entire tent.  This method will require more work in the application than spray on and takes longer to dry, but may give slightly better results.
  • Wash in waterproofing is typically used for clothing but if the tent can handle it this may be a viable option.  Just be sure that the tent will handle washing machine process, or you will be shopping for new tent.

In each of the cases above be sure to follow the manufacturers suggestion for application.  Some of the products may require the removal of the previous waterproof material.  Be sure to allow whatever waterproofing treatment that you use to dry thoroughly before folding up the tent, or you risk ruining the entire tent.

To fully enjoy tent camping be sure to keep the camping gear in top notch condition.  This includes repairing any damage to the tent and keeping the waterproofing fresh.

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